These days it’s no surprise that so many people are choosing dental implants, the healthy, convenient, and long-lasting choice for replacing missing teeth. This revolutionary technology offers numerous advantages over dentures and dental bridges, the two most common alternative treatments.
Preview the Dental Implant Process
Once you and your dentist have determined that dental implants are the best solution for replacing your missing teeth, one of our dedicated dental health specialists will sit down with you and come up with a timetable that matches your schedule. At this point we will go over the entire dental implant process with you and address any questions or concerns you may have.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process typically requires 3 to 6 months to complete. However, this timetable could be expanded if our doctors determine that you require any additional procedures, such as bone grafting or treatment for gum disease, to prepare for dental implants.
Here’s a list of the steps involved in the dental implant process, including pre-surgery procedures which you may not require:
- Preparation of the surgical site. Any damaged or broken teeth are removed.
- Pre-implant procedures. The dentist performs pre-surgery treatments, such as bone grafting or treatment for gum disease.
- Your fixture is surgically fitted.
- Your jawbone becomes firmly integrated with the fixture.
- Your abutment and crown are attached to your implant.
Your Post-Surgery Instructions
We will provide you with detailed written instructions on how to prepare for each stop of the dental implant process, but please don’t hesitate to call us at any point if you have any concerns at all. This is your smile we’re talking about and you have every right to know what to expect at every stage of the process.
Follow our Directions for Quick and Healthy Recovery
The surgical fitting of the dental implant fixture to your jawbone is crucial to the success of the entire implant. It’s essential that the fixture forms a strong bond with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration to anchor the entire dental implant to your mouth. That’s why it’s so important that you follow your dentist’s directions during your recovery from the procedure.
Expect Some Swelling and Bleeding After Dental Implant Surgery
It really helps to know what to expect going into the dental implant process. For example, some pain, bleeding, and swelling are a natural part of the recovery process and it should not alarm you to be feeling some discomfort after your implant fixture has been surgically fitted to your jaw.
Patients commonly experience some swelling after the fixture is fitted. Typically the swelling reaches its peak 2 to 3 days after the procedure is completed. However, your level of pain should reach its highest level about six hours after surgery. You can place an ice pack on your cheekbone above the surgical site and you can should also use your pain medication as directed by your dentist. And if your dentist prescribes any antibiotics, be sure to take all of them in order to fight against possible infection.
Like swelling, bleeding is another common side effect of dental implant surgery. You can change your gauze every 30 to 45 minutes as necessary. Wetting your gauze and biting down on it can make this process easier. You should not feel alarmed if blood continues to leak from the site for up to 48 hours after the surgery. But again, please feel free to contact our office about any concerns you might have.
Additional Side Effects Following Dental Implant Surgery
Dry lips and bruising on the cheek are two additional side effects that are a common part recovery from dental implant surgery. You can use a lubricant such as Vaseline to treat your lips and the bruising should begin to subside by 2 to 3 days after the surgery.
Things to Avoid Following Dental Implant Surgery
In order to ensure a healthy recovery, the following should be avoided for at least five days following your implant surgery:
- Strenuous physical activity
- Drinking from a straw
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hot drinks such as coffee and tea
- Hard and crunchy foods
Your New Smile
Once your dental implant fixture has been successfully fitted, you are on your way to having that new smile. You will look and feel attractive, healthy, and ready to face the world with a new sense of confidence. Call us today at Dentistry of Nashville to find out what dental implants can do for you.